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What You Need to Know: Public Health and Safety

We must think differently, take specific health and safety measures and work together to protect our community.

Space between two people

Watch the "Three Cs"

Protect yourself and others by avoiding the Three Cs:

  1. Close, continuous contact with others
  2. Crowds
  3. Close spaces

Increasing the physical distance between individuals to at least 6 feet reduces transmission of the virus. The greater the physical distance from others, the lesser the risk of transmission.

Everyone returning to campus should strive to maintain a 6 foot separation to the fullest possible extent.

Physical distancing may include:

  • working or learning on a remote or "hybrid" basis
  • limiting meetings and gatherings
  • postponing non-essential meetings and events
  • reducing occupant density through staggered or extended schedules
  • removing seats from shared spaces
  • modifying circulation patterns
  • using outdoor venues instead of indoor facilities

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Mask with ear loops

Wear a Face Mask or Covering

It is critical that all WVU community members wear face masks or coverings to protect others and yourself.

  • The spread of COVID-19 can be controlled when 80% of a population wears face coverings and face masks properly.
  • As a general guide, masks should cover both your nose and mouth, and you should not remove them during conversations. Dr. Kathy Moffett explains why it’s important to wear your mask or face covering and how to properly put them on.

Failure to Comply

  • Failure to comply with the University’s Student Code of Conduct regarding personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks and face coverings, will result in one or more of the following measures: written warning, removal from class, probation, suspension and/or expulsion from the University.
  • Employees will be subject to discipline for failure to comply with policies relating to PPE.

Medical Exemptions

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checkmark and hands

Clean Your Hands — and Your Environment

It’s up to all of us to create safe, clean campus spaces. The University will increase cleaning protocols in high-traffic areas and high-touch surfaces. WVU community members must do their part by maintaining responsible personal hygiene:

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water or use hand sanitizer when touching public surfaces. Humming the chorus of "Take Me Home, Country Roads" is an easy way to estimate.
  • Do not touch your mouth, nose or eyes, which can introduce the virus. Cover your face when sneezing or coughing (even when wearing a mask).
  • Limit touching shared surfaces to reduce the spread of the virus.

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inserting swab in nose

Mandatory COVID-19 Testing

Who Will and Won't be Tested

  • The University will provide a free test to all students and employees who are returning to WVU campuses and provide for continued testing throughout the year.
  • Students who are taking classes exclusively online will not be required to be tested.
  • Employees who will be notified by their supervisor in the coming weeks that they will continue to work remotely, or will not be physically working on campus full-time this fall, will not be required to be tested.
  • Extension agents in the field are not required to be tested but are welcome to travel to a campus testing site if they choose.

Penalties

  • For students, failure to take the COVID-19 test by Aug. 22 will result in a $250 fee being added to a student's account. They will also be referred to the Office of Student Conduct for follow-up. Students will be given an opportunity to explain any extenuating circumstances for their non-compliance. Follow-up actions will be based on the particular situation for each student.
  • For employees, if you fail to take the COVID-19 test by Aug. 22, you will be subject to employee disciplinary actions until you take the test including, but not limited to, being placed on administrative leave without pay and/or being placed on administrative leave while using your annual leave.

The Testing Procedure

  • A nasal live-virus, anterior swab test will be administered, which is less invasive and results in less discomfort than sampling from other upper respiratory anatomical sites.
  • The testing procedure should take less than five minutes to complete.
  • You will receive an email to your WVU account containing a link to register for testing at your preferred date, time and location.

What You Need to Know: Testing

Learn what you need to know about the test schedule, scheduling your test, what to do the day you get tested and how you get your results on What You Need to Know: Testing.

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Also See:

cell phone

Self-Monitor and Report Illness

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the risk of exposure, you must regularly monitor your personal health status.

  • You should not come to campus if you are feeling ill.
  • Students, faculty or staff who become ill while on campus should return to their campus or local residence, self-quarantine and avoid further contact with others. You should use a mask or face covering and follow physical distancing guidelines. Follow the instructions on our Coronavirus website for seeking medical care. Buildings or classrooms do not need to be closed and contacts of these individuals do not need to be notified.
  • Some units with unique risks associated with their operations may establish more stringent access controls, including daily temperature checks and health status questionnaires before reporting to work.
  • If you develop COVID-19 symptoms after testing negative, you should be evaluated by a physician.
    • Students based in Morgantown should contact WVU Medicine Student Health at 304-285-7200.
    • Students on WVU divisional campuses should contact their Student Health Clinic, the local health department or the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources hotline at 1-800-887-4304 or 304-341-1579 if from WVU and using an out of state cell phone number.
    • Faculty and staff should call WVU Medicine’s COVID-19 phone number at 304-598-6000 (Option 4).

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Contact Tracing

Contact Tracing

While COVID-19 is a highly contagious disease, the best evidence indicates that the disease is unlikely to spread through casual contact.

The goal of contact tracing is to identify, through a series of interviews, those individuals who have had significant close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

When to Self-Quarantine

  • You must self-quarantine if you feel ill or have had direct contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
  • Until a formal case investigation and contact tracing can be completed, all those who are known or suspected to have been in close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 should undergo a 14-day self-quarantine/self-monitoring period. In these situations, close contact includes:
    • Having been within 6 feet of someone diagnosed with COVID-19 for a period of at least 15 minutes in any environment, regardless of the use of face coverings or masks; or,
    • Having been in a closed indoor space with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 for a period of at least 15 minutes, regardless of the use of face coverings or masks.
  • Please note that this is interim guidance and is based on the current outbreak situation in the Morgantown community. The guidance can/will be updated as the situation evolves.
  • Contacts of contacts (e.g., secondary contacts), or brief contacts with a person diagnosed with COVID-19, are generally not felt to be at high risk of infection. Therefore, unless the health department identifies that a specific outbreak situation warrants further action, the University will not seek to identify casual contacts or secondary contacts. Units may advise employees and students to monitor their own health for the development of any symptoms, but quarantine procedures are not required for these types of contacts.

What to do if You're Self-Quarantining or Test Positive

  • All WVU community members are required to report if they test positive for COVID-19 or are self-quarantining due to suspected or known exposure to COVID-19. Students should notify the WVU CARE Team, and employees should notify WVU Medical Management.
  • Individuals who meet the criteria for close contacts may be released from quarantine if they have no symptoms for a 14-day period or if they have no symptoms for a period of 7 days and receive a negative test result from COVID-19 testing. Employees and students should follow the procedures on our coronavirus website for assistance in seeking testing.
  • The local health department will contact any individual who tests positive for COVID-19, complete an initial case investigation and initiate contact tracing.
  • The University will support these efforts by providing contact information, personnel and other resources as requested.
  • Once close contacts are identified, they will be quarantined and monitored for the development of symptoms.
  • WVU Student Health and Student Life will work with students on procedures for quarantine and return to class.
  • Supervisors and WVU Medical Management will work with employees on procedures for quarantine and return to work guidance.
  • Units and supervisors should ensure that the privacy and confidentiality of all students and employees is maintained during any efforts to identify potential close contacts.

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Provide Flexible, Safe Learning and Working Environments

As a University, we must work together to protect the vulnerable and our extended community.

  • All of our personal situations will be unique. Some members of our University community may be more vulnerable to complications of COVID-19 that increase the risk of infection or the severity of symptoms.
  • According to the CDC, individuals with certain conditions may have a higher risk for COVID-19 infection, such as adults aged 65 or older, people with HIV, asthma, chronic lung conditions, diabetes, serious heart conditions, chronic kidney disease, severe obesity, being immunocompromised, pregnancy, caregiving of vulnerable family members, etc.
  • Currently, medical conditions that necessitate reasonable accommodations related to COVID-19 are being addressed as Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accommodations. In accordance with the ADA Amendments Act, certain factors do not meet the definition of a disability. Reasonable modifications will be determined on a case-by-case basis. When applicable, other provisions may run concurrently with accommodations, such as FMLA, FFCRA, leave and other University programs. In these cases, employees will be referred to WVU Medical Management.
  • If you are an employee and have questions or need accommodations, faculty and staff encouraged to contact coronavirusmodification@mail.wvu.edu. More information can be found at WVU Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion's ADA Coronavirus Modifications website.
  • Students with questions related to accommodations and the Coronavirus should contact the Office of Accessibility Services at 304-293-6700. More information is available at Accessibility Services.
  • Given the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and the drastic alteration of patterns of work, transportation, family support, childcare, travel and other fundamental modes of life, we expect our leaders, managers, supervisors, faculty members and researchers to model flexibility and foster a community of wellness and awareness to the maximum extent possible.
  • Flexibility includes the readiness to immediately adapt to changing circumstances by implementing more restrictions and/or returning quickly to safer at home guidelines.

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Looking for Travel and Visitor Info?

These topics now have their own pages:

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Education and Communication

COVID-19 Education Module

  • On Aug. 4, all students and employees will receive an email about completing the required COVID-19 education module.
  • Use your WVU Login to log into the COVID-19 education module.
  • All students and employees are required to complete the module by Aug. 22.
    • Students with fully online course schedules are still required to complete the module.
  • The education module will provide specific COVID-19 information and elaborate on policies, procedures and processes the University is using to promote safety and wellness in this new environment.
  • For students, failure to complete the module by Aug. 22 will result in a $250 fee being added to student's account; they will also be reported to the Office of Student Conduct.
  • Employees will face disciplinary actions if the course is not completed by Aug. 22.

COVID-19 Dashboard

  • Every week, the University will share the latest information regarding COVID-19 on campus through a variety of news channels.
  • A dashboard is available with the most current statistics on positive COVID-19 test results.

Signage and Communication

  • Moving around our campuses this fall will be different. To help you follow the established protocols, the University will post relevant health and safety information on signs across our campuses.
  • Throughout the year, watch for a variety of messaging, as well as additional campus conversations, that reinforce key safety guidelines.

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Stop the Spread

Personal accountability is the key to our safe return to campus. Do your part to keep everyone safe.

Do Your Part

Ask a Question

We’ll be adding information on different topics throughout the summer, so check this site frequently for updates. If you can’t find the answer to your question, email returntocampus@mail.wvu.edu.

Common Questions Answered Communication Timeline

Return to Campus Conversations

You’re welcome to join live discussions on Thursdays at 10 a.m. — or watch recordings of previous conversations whenever it’s convenient.

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